2003 Cultural - Educational Post Conference Tour

Interactive Teaching: New Horizons
Case Teaching & Writing, Continuing Education & Distance Learning
Hosted by Bordeaux Business School
June 28 - July 2, 2003
Day 1
The educational-cultural post conference tour (immediately after WACRA 2003) will take participants from the vineyards of Bordeaux to the small town of Cognac the birthplace of François I and the cradle of the fine brandy which bears its name. A visit to Martell, the oldest of all the Cognac distilleries includes seeing the semi-automated bottling process, and the stores and cellars where the brandy is left to age for 6 to 8 years in oak barrels. Before going back to the hall for a tasting session, we are invited to take a look at the most prestigious wine stores, known as purgatoire (purgatory) and paradis (heaven) in which some of the brandies have been aging in demi-johns for over a hundred years. First overnight stop is Nantes, a city of the arts, a great industrial city, and the seat of a big university. Located on the confluence of the rivers Loire, Sèvres and Erdre, Nantes is the historic capital of the Dukes of Brittany and has a well preserved maritime and river-based history. It has now become the capital of the region called Pays de la Loire.
Day 2
From Nantes north to Vannes, a medieval city, enclosed by ramparts and grouped around the cathedral, was built in the shape of an amphitheater at the head of the Golfe du Morbihan. Sights in the picturesque town full of creperies, cafés, restaurants and boutiques include the ramparts, some old wash-houses, the Cathedral of St. Pierre, various palaces and museums. Ample free time is planned for this visit. From Vannes via Dinan (its old houses and streets are girt by ramparts and guarded by an imposing castle) to St. Malo, a unique site in France and one of the great tourist centres of Brittany. Few towns have had as many famous sons as St. Malo over the centuries, to name just a few: Jacques Cartier who left in 1534 to look for gold in Newfoundland and Labrador: instead he discovered the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, which he took to be the estuary of a great Asian river.

The Inner City of Vannes

As the word Canada, which means ‘village’ in the Huron language, was often used by the Indians he encountered, he used the word to name the country. Porcon de la Bardinais who has been charged in 1655 by the St. Malo ship owners to defend their ships against the Barbary pirates, was captured and taken before the Dey of Algiers. The Dey sent him to Louis XIV with peace proposals on condition that if these were not accepted he would return to Algiers. The Dey’s proposals were refused, whereupon Porcon went to St. Malo to put his affairs in order, said farewell to his family and returned to Africa, where he was executed.  

Street Scene in
 Vannes, Brittany

François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) was the tenth and last child of a very noble Breton family who had fallen on bad times. His father went to America in search of fortune and was able, on his return, to set up as a ship owner at St. Malo. In room on the second floor of a modest town-house, from where he could look out to sea beyond the ramparts and dream... René was born. The future poet spent his early years in roaming about the port. We will have ample time to tour the city. We will spend the night in St. Malo. 
Day 3
Mont St. Michel has been called the marvel of the western world owing to its island setting. Seeing the famous abbey separated from the main land by each six hour tide leaves and indelible impression. Mont St. Michel is a granite island. It is joined to the mainland by a dike. As the bay is already partially silted up, the Mont is usually to be seen surrounded by huge sand banks which shift with the tides and often reshape the  mouths of the neighbouring rivers. The abbey's origin goes back to the early 8C, when the Archangel Michael appeared to Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, who founded an oratory on the island, then known as Mont Tombe.

Café in Vannes


The oratory was replaced by an abbey and from then until the 16C a series of increasingly splendid buildings, the Romanesque and then the Gothic styles, succeeded one another on the Mount which was subsequently dedicated to the Archangel. The well fortified abbey was never captured. The construction is an amazing achievement. The blocks of granite were transported from the iles Chausey or from Brittany and hoisted up to the foot of the building. As the crest of the hill was very narrow, the foundations had to be built up from the lower slopes. For more details refer to the Michelin Tourist Guide 'Brittany'.

In Normandy we will visit Les Plages du Débarquement (the D-Day Landing Beaches), Le port artificiel d'Arromances (the artificial habour at Arromanches), La Musée du Débarquement (D-Day Landing Museum), Omaha-Beach and the American military cemetary at Colleville. We will stay overnight in Trouville sur Mer, a favorite weekend and vacation destination for Parisians

Day 4
After a leisurely morning on the beach (right in front of the Grand Hotel) we will travel from Trouville sur Mer to Rouen, site of one of the grand Gothic Cathedrals and then, before reaching Paris (last overnight), we will visit the Gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny.

The tour ends in Paris. Evening free time for theater, etc. What is included: transportation in modern tour bus, four nights hotel & breakfast (Nantes, St. Malo, Trouville sur Mer, Paris), three dinners, fees, guides.

Register Now!  Only a few seats remain.

Claude Monet’s
Garden at Giverny



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